journaling in the pandemic

“I hope you’ll write about it,” I say to my 16 and my 10 year old, “we’re living through what will become Big History.” Will I write about it, too? I haven’t been. Not really. Then I remembered I have this blog and I almost never use it. I’ve turned off “share this all over the Internet” and think I’m going to keep some journal-type thoughts here.

At the moment, we are in my parents’ summer place up in the mountains of Maine. We’re here just for a few days. We brought all the food we’ll need; we won’t visit any stores while we are here. (We’re a good 10 miles from any stores anyway.) If any of us start showing symptoms, we’ll go back to Portland (not take up space in the rural hospital). Everything is covered with snow, though it reach 50 degrees today. It’s strange being here off-season; I’m usually here to plant, tend, or harvest the garden.

In a minute I’m going to back-date some posts of photos I took since we began sheltering in place. I’ve been sheltering in place since the beginning of March when I was sick (with a fever, chest cold, and sinus infection) and didn’t want to be out and about spreading my germs.

This won’t be written carefully (draft, edit, review, re-work, etc. high-quality writing). It’ll be mostly stream-of-consciousness. Whatever’s on my mind at the moment. Written for me, but written here in public because my old process of posting on my blog feels comforting.

driving and walking

sometimes we just get into the car and drive around, listening to the “quarantine playlist” we’ve been curating. each of us picks songs we want on the playlist and we expect we’ll have memories associated with the songs in the future. little tiny mini road trips.

on one walk around Jewell Falls, we were very careful about stepping aside to let people pass with more than six feet of distance. at one point, a couple cyclists were going to pass us but there was no way for us to get out of the way. I sort of jokingly gestured at putting my hand over my mouth and nose (honestly, I thought they might get out of the way since they had the option?). they passed by us and the guy turned back, nearly stopping his bike, and angrily said, “why did you do that? why are you doing that?!?” and I said, “the virus?” I realized then that being “the bad guy” when it comes to physical distancing isn’t as simple as it seems.

looking over Jewell Falls on March 23, 2020

I’m grateful my daughters like each other (and me!) most of the time, and that they are kind to each other more often than they are jerky. I don’t take it for granted.